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Words are composed of a combination of letters that have their unique sounds.

By Pallavi Kanungo,

Learning to spell correctly is more important than we often realise. Spellings are important in all spheres of life. Therefore, children must be encouraged to pay attention to each and every word they come across while reading and writing. Some kids are naturally good with spellings while there are others who struggle with them. Parents and teachers often think that extensive and daily reading helps children become a good speller. While this is somewhat true, there are also other measures that can be taken to improve a child’s spelling skills. Here are a few tips to help your child with spellings. 

Motivating your child to learn sight words 
Sight words, also known as Dolch words, are common words that children recognise instantly without having to pronounce them. So, encourage your child to memorise and later identify the words simply by looking at them. The more they practise, the better they become at spellings. Regularly looking at and remembering sight words with difficult spellings will make their journey easier. 

Encourage her to master word families 
Word families are nothing but words that rhyme with each other. Take ‘log’ and ‘dog’ for example. Once your child learns how to spell the former, give her few more words that sound similar. This is how she will get to understand how letters combine and create certain word patterns.  

Teach him about the sound of letters 
Your child can achieve spelling fluency by familiarising with a series of “building block” skills. Explain that words are composed of a combination of letters that have their unique sounds. Your child must understand how each vowel and consonant sounds, depending on the context and learn about ‘blends’ (‘bl’ that makes ‘blow’), digraphs (two alphabets making a single sound, like ‘sh’) and diphthongs (two vowels creating a single syllable, like ‘ou’). This training will enable kids to become avid spellers. 

Help kids master spelling rules  
Like any other topic, spellings too have basic rules that need to be well understood before attempting towards perfection. Accustom your child with spelling rules: Tenses, prefixes, suffixes, possessives, singular and plurals. Once your kids learns these basics by heart, they will be able to apply them consistently, which will minimise errors. The goldren rules that spelling experts follow include these: Look, memorise, pronounce, write and revise. 

Play word games with your little learner 
When a student has a fundamental understanding of word structures, phonetics and spelling rules, then revision becomes the key to success. This is when you need to encourage your little one to participate in spelling bees, willingly take part in surprise spelling tests and play word games like scrabble. This will not only improve their spellings but also enrich their vocabulary. 

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